Turkey lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe. For centuries it was the heart of two great empires – the Christian Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Most of Turkey is on Anatolian peninsula and its small part is in southeastern Europe. Narrow waterways and the Sea of Marmara separate the two parts of Turkey. Its official name is the Republic of Turkey. Its area is 780,580 square kilometers. Turkey borders Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Georgia.
Humans have lived in the Asian part of Turkey, called Anatolia, since at least 7000 BC. Greeks and Persians later fought over the land. Romans took over Anatolia by about 30 BC. In AD 395 the Roman Empire was divided into western and eastern parts. The eastern part became known as the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople (now called Istanbul) was the capital. The Seljuk Turks invaded Anatolia in the 1040s.